BME student helps college DEI efforts, while building engineering skills

March 4, 2022 — Sadhika Prabhu came to the University of Minnesota knowing she wanted to help people and gain hands-on experience in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“I remember during a career day in fourth grade when one of my classmate’s parents who worked at Medtronic was talking to us about stents and about Earl Bakken, the founder of the company,” recalls Prabhu, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering.

Hands-on engineering experience

That visit to the museum was among her first steps toward her current career path. Prabhu’s most recent—and most significant—step to becoming a biomedical engineer came this past summer when she landed an internship with the U of M’s Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center.

“It’s a super cool space, and I was on a project with other CSE students to reduce noise disturbance for infants who are in the neo-intensive care unit,” she said. “I worked as a segmentation specialist, taking MRI and CT scans, and converting them into 3D models that can be printed out or put into virtual reality for doctors to use or for medical students to practice with.” 

She’s done segmentation projects on a variety of anatomy. Most recently, Prabhu assisted in making a model for a central venous catheter and a prostate model for a medical device company. 

Getting involved with DEI

In addition to gaining more technical skills, Prabhu is honing her ability to lead, mentor, and facilitate large group conversations. She’s an active member of Engineers Without Borders, Rooted in Stem, and the CSE Diversity & Inclusivity (D&I) Alliance Student Action Committee.

UMN Engineering Without Borders members
Prabhu serves as fundraising officer in the Engineers Without Border chapter at the U of M. She's pictured here with the 2021-2022 EWB leadership team.


“In freshman year, I had the original intent of being more involved in a multicultural club or efforts to create inclusivity, but I just wasn’t aware of them,” Prabhu added. “What’s really nice now is I get to be a part of those efforts to create the inclusivity and diversity I was looking for—and also to bring more awareness to these groups so other students can find them. It’s never too late to find those opportunities or start those groups.”

Learn more about her efforts to champion D&I issues in Sadhika Prabhu’s CSE video:

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